How to Protect Your Company from Biggest Network Security Threats

Written by on 28th February 2019

The 2018 Credential Spill Report showed that nearly 90% of the login attempts on online retailers’ websites were hackers using stolen data. The estimated losses for the US consumer banking industry were $5 million per day.

A data breach doesn’t hit only small inexperienced businesses. In fact, some of those that have been affected by cybersecurity issues in the previous time are big names like Macy’s, Adidas, Kmart, and Forever 21.

While these companies recovered, small businesses are in even greater danger, with the chances of 66% of them going out of business or shutting down operations for at least one day in the event of a data breach.

This guide will prevent your business from becoming a part of the grim statistic, and stay afloat in the digital realm which often exploits the company’s vulnerabilities and weak network security.


Build your passwords with bricks

You are probably familiarized with the story of The three little pigs where one little pig builds its house of straw, the other uses sticks, and the third one uses bricks. Well, if you don’t want the big bad wolf to enter your system, Cloud, or social media accounts, you, and all of your employees should have strong passwords.

A strong password is not just a sequence of characters such as “Michael123”. It is recommended to use passphrases (e.g., WeAreInLoveWith0urJ0b4ever). They are easier to remember and more difficult to crack.


Train your staff in organizational security policies

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People are simultaneously both the strongest and the weakest link of one company. In the matters of cybersecurity, more often than not, they are the weakest. To strengthen them, you need to explain why security policies like multiple authentication and passphrases passwords matter. After they get the picture, build the security consciousness culture through training and testing.


Insider threat management

The first step to successful insider threat management is the hiring process. This is done through background checks before hiring. However, most managers forget that this threat remains present even after the hiring, so there is a need for being proactive in managing personnel risk throughout an employee’s tenure with the company.

Responsible businesses should use various tools to observe, track, and record suspicious network events. There are apps and software that use machine learning to inspect massive amounts of data patterns to recognize not just malicious actions by users, but also patterns which could indicate malware compromise.


Protection of sensitive data in the case of device loss/theft

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Regardless whether the employees are using their own devices for business tasks or the company has provided them with their assets, there is always a risk of loss and theft, which could, consequently, lead to a data breach by an unauthorized party.

File-level encryption is usually implemented to protect sensitive files, but the attacker can depending on his persistence, eventually gain access by brute-forcing the passwords. Full-disk encryption, on the other hand, can ensure the attacker cannot obtain any data.

Installing useful apps that can track the device and allow remote access, such as HiddenApp for iOS or Lookout for Android, are always useful to have in the case of loss or theft. The first one even allows you to use iSight to capture the criminal on camera.


Malware prevention

Once the malware gets into the network it can infect all of the systems essential for business operations and, thus, cause your company to use millions within a day. Besides the lost data, viruses, worms, and ransomware can affect productivity. Spyware carries an even bigger threat, as it allows your competitors to steal confidential information, which can last for years.

Establishing threat defense, as well as threat detection and response protocols is imperative for prevention. The most basic things you can do is to keep your software updated and protected and to monitor and control the apps that are being installed and used on the company’s devices.


Search for potential weak spots

Technologies change by the day. With a new virus, comes a new anti-virus. To be ahead of the curve, you need to keep track of all the novelties in this department.

Constant and proactive search and scanning of potential weak spots that can make your data and operations vulnerable are key if you want to discover and neutralize them before they are revealed by an attacker.

Penetration testing is a worthwhile method which searches for vulnerabilities and then corrects them. While there are professionals you can hire for this purpose, you can also use available tools such as Netsparker, Core Impact, Metasploit, Wire Shark, and others.


Wrapping up

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The rules of the network game change every day, sometimes even every minute. Businesses that intend to survive need to make their systems secure. However, it is important to know that in the digital realm, there is no such thing as 100% security and that no guarantees are on the table. Therefore, it is imperative to be proactive in threat detection and neutralization.